A little rant: How much wood is too much wood?

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Forum topic by BentheViking posted 01-24-2012 05:41 AM 5254 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1782 posts in 2587 days

01-24-2012 05:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: stain clear coat paint trim baseboard furniture finish

I’ve been thinking a lot about wooden trim and finish work lately as I spend my days selling wood floors and accessories and then come home and talk with my wife about buying a house. I have always thought I loved wood a lot, but I have come to realize that maybe not as much as I thought. I’ve realized that I just am not a fan of wood finished (clear or stained) on things like trim, windows, door frames, even many (though not all) kitchen cabinets. And as much as my boss might kill me if he heard me say this I can’t stand the look of wood stained quarter round/shoe mold and baseboard. Its on the wall make it wall colored or white!!!

I’m sure many of you won’t agree and I don’t mean to offend anyone’s tastes, but its just my personal opnion. What do ya’ll think is too much wood?

PS Furniture is mostly another story. Why make something beautiful and then cover it up with paint?

PPS Am I a hypocrite?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

23 replies so far

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2716 days

#1 posted 01-24-2012 05:45 AM

There’s no such thing as too much wood

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 2975 days

#2 posted 01-24-2012 05:50 AM

Haha, no, I tend to agree with you. I don’t like baseboards, mouldings, wainscoting etc to be natural wood. I generally prefer to paint them white. Sometimes I’ll see exquisite work that becomes the exception, but like you I think that if it’s on the wall it looks better painted.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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6955 posts in 2622 days

#3 posted 01-24-2012 05:51 AM

I dont like stained oak or pine trim myself. Nothing says 80’s like golden oak…however, if it is craftsman style home, or we are talking about cherry, then I like it. But basically I prefer white trim. But different strokes for different folks.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2587 days

#4 posted 01-24-2012 05:55 AM

ewww to golden oak, but dark stain in a country or craftsman could work as long as its not too overdone. Also exposed beams can look pretty awesome in the right setting. I think everyone can probably agree that “wood” paneling was a horrible invention.

I also do not like interior doors stained….exterior can be hit or miss

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3332 days

#5 posted 01-24-2012 06:23 AM

I personally believe it is sacrilege to paint wood but their are some woods that don’t particularly look good with a stain or clear finish. I have alot of old growth cypress that I used in my house and finished it with a clear water based poly. Looks very nice and I would never paint anything I made.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3219 days

#6 posted 01-24-2012 06:27 AM


The vast majority of the trim, baseboards, crown moldings, doors, windows, etc. and all cabinets, bar, fireplace mantles, at our house at the ranch are wood and look like wood. Knotty alder or red oak, stained and many coats of poly.

I don’t care for painted trim, etc.

If it’s made from wood …....... It ought to look like wood.

Qobviously it all subjective and personal taste?

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View KOVA's profile


1363 posts in 2402 days

#7 posted 01-24-2012 06:44 AM



View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2859 days

#8 posted 01-24-2012 08:47 AM

There can be too much wood. I do like window trim, baseboard and door trim to be wood but preferably something other then pine and oak. I envision my dining room with the bottom of the wall wood panels separated by wood dividers and a piece of wood trim stopping the whole effect at 4’ high with all the wall above done in wall paper or paint.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3006 days

#9 posted 01-24-2012 09:17 AM

i prefer painted trim in a painted house. it’s a matter of decor.
your second point about the base shoe, looks like an add on, or second rate; unbecomming of a woodworker. pull the base and run to 7/16 to the wall,and reuse the base. or buy an up grade style baseboard, that is thick enough to cover gap of wood flooring

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3461 days

#10 posted 01-24-2012 09:31 AM

Do what you think is best. I love lots of natural finish oak trim. It is 1930’s but in my mind, like brick, never goes out of style. I grew up in old houses with thick layers of oil paint on old trim. People who grew up in old houses with lots of oak trim paint their wood, as they think lots of wood trim is for antique houses with old people living in them. Other people (don’t get me going) take nice wood trim, distress it, and faux paint it to look like bamboo. It ends up looking like oak trim that has been beat up and fake bamboo. Others buy a nice piece of furniture, paint it with pea green porch and deck paint then chip the paint off and burn the edges and put it as a center point of their living room. I grew up with this crappy makeshift farm furniture and today the old oil paint on it makes it burn good.

So, do what you like as everyone else does. Look at the replies here… what’s that term “shabby sheik?” that’s so popular today? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. But that doesn’t matter these days.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2380 days

#11 posted 01-24-2012 09:54 AM

My sisters place has to much natrual wood (especially in the kitchen dinning room). Natrual wooden floors, wooden wall panels, wooden cupboards, wooden window frames and sashes, wood finish on the scotia and beeding, you can see the rafters and then add in wooden table chairs and cabnets… it does become too much.

But only in that area of the house, the rest of the house is fine, example the lounge is broken by the carpet and ceiling is lowered, has a brick surround around the fireplace, as is the rest of the house. Hence why she wanted to paint her table in the dinning room.

I love the look of natrual wwol, and even stained wood… but you can go overboard with it.

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3768 days

#12 posted 01-24-2012 03:03 PM

You would hate my house. Paint belongs on cars and ships.

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17423 posts in 3030 days

#13 posted 01-24-2012 03:13 PM

I agree that its personal preference. Im in the process of painting all the trim in my house from stained pine to crisp bright white. All that stained pine made the house look so old and dark especially because it doesnt get a ton of natural sunlight.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4242 days

#14 posted 01-24-2012 03:32 PM

Fun topic, Ben. But it really does come down to individual taste.

When my wife and I built our first house in 1986, painted trim had pretty much become the norm. In the 70’s and further back, of course, stained woodwork was used almost exclusively. Nevertheless, we both liked the natural wood look, and we had all our interior doors and trim stained to match our light oak kitchen. I have to say, people visiting our home for the first time frequently offered totally unsolicited comments about how good it looked. Even the contractor, who had originally wanted to paint our trim, admitted that we had made the right choice.

When we moved to a 70’s vintage home in 2003, it had mostly stained trim. After Katrina flooded the first floor in 2005, though, we went back with painted trim for the sake of simplicity. We both regret the decision. Not only do we like the look of wood trim better, but it also shows dirt much less.

Having said all that, I do think you can overdo it, as in the scenario Nighthawk described above.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Jeff's profile


439 posts in 3218 days

#15 posted 01-24-2012 03:36 PM

I like painted baseboard but natural or stained quarter round next to my hardwood floors. The problem is I have to remove the quarter round when I paint the walls.

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